I received a call from Lara, the hardworking force behind the Golden Grip Foundation, requesting me if the Fabulous Running Divas can lead the stretching for both the 10K and the 5K runners of 300 Mandirigma.  Believing in her and the foundation’s trust towards educating hundreds of out-of-school youths in neglected areas of the country, I cannot afford todecline the offer.

The FRD had been doing stretching exercises in a number of races in a dancercise way.  The problem with being given just 3 days to make a new routine is that there is no one to do so!  The task is the responsibility of Blue, our group’s resident choreographer and he is not available at this time.  He has already committed himself to another group.  There is no one to take his place as neither can I dance, much more choreograph!

Coach Mherlz Lumagbas fortunately is slated to run 10K as her recovery run after her finals qualifying 21K performance at the Milo Marathon.  I invited her to join the group in going to the PhilCOA area where the race is to be held.  Moreover, since we came as a group, I asked her if she might as well help with the group stretching.  She obliged without a second’s hesitation being the generous coach that she is.

What a big relief it provided me to have Coach Mherlz at my side.  I know Coach Michelle Estuar who will host the event will be there too if needed be!  I am safe for now and the jitters of taking to the stage without Blue with whom I rely to give me the next moves slowly vanished.

I scrapped the dancercise routine.  What we will do instead is stretching to an upbeat music accompaniment in the background.  Before I get to choose the music though, I have to rehash some stretching moves I will perform.

Dynamic Stretching is best before Running

Upon research, here are good dynamic stretch videos I found in YouTube:

Dynamic Full Body Stretches

Dynamic Stretching for Runners

I divided the routine into two:

  1. Total body joints stretching and movement fine-tuning starting from the neck to the ankle joints.
    • Neck Rotation
    • Shoulder Rotation
    • Torso Rotation
    • Hip Rotation
    • Lunges and Squats
    • Knee Rotation
    • Ankle Rotation
  2. Movements to up the heart beat and ready the runners for running.
    • Jumping Jacks
    • Knee to Elbow
    • Knee High
    • Butt Kick
    • Jog in Place

Stage Performance

On the morning of the race, I was happy to have Red, Sweet, Ayen, Juvy and Coach Mherlz to help me out and accompany me to the stage.  When finally I was atop the stage, only Ayen and Coach Mherlz were with me.  The other three found a good spot where I cannot see them! Hahaha…. The spotlight is likewise blinding me so I cannot find them among the runners from my stage vantage point!  Lucky they or I would have really placed the pressure on them to come up and hug the spotlight with me, which they too deserve.  In fact, I even called out their names!  However, Coach Mherlz and Ayen did prove to be great performers and backup dancers that I cannot ask for more!

Here’s how it went:  After being called to the stage, I made some few speech myself after grabbing the wireless microphone from Lara which I cannot recall now…”Barbara Streisand” music was cued….Start music….1st Part begins with neck rotation….8 counts….shoulder rotation……8 counts clockwise, 8 counts counter clockwise….arm swing for 8 counts….body hug for another 8 counts ….torso rotation for another 8 counts and…..and…..Oh my gosh!  I cannot think of the next dynamic stretch exercise!…..”Let me turn you over to Coach Mherlz for our Jumping jack exercises!” was a prompt segue, er excuse, to mask my blunder….I just cut my part for almost 2 minutes!

What a disaster it would have been had Coach Mherlz not been around to continue with her part of the exercise.  It was part of my plan to have her do the second part but not that early!  Luckily, she was sharp enough to heed my cue.  Anyways, the important thing is that, well, nobody had a clue of what actually went on.  Not even Coach Mherlz! Hahahaha….

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Off We Ran!

I am not really in the best of condition this day and in fact, I earlier planned on not running at all.  However, the stretching that we did pumped me up so I decided to push myself albeit at a slower pace.  Red ginger wanted me to pace him to sub1 finishing time but knowing I am not at it, advised him to go on with his pace.

Red was flying upon gun start!  I cannot do my regular 10K pace so I just did an LSD pace.  A few meters to half way turn around point, I caught up with him as he was slowing down after an initial adrenalin surge.  Past the turnaround point though, it was my turn to fly after my engines are all afire.

Less than 1 km to go before the finish line, I saw Sweet sashaying along the route in his 5K run.  At this point, I am already feeling miserable.  The endorphins must have worn off and my sickness getting the best of me.  He was a very welcome sight as I can have the excuse of walking with him.


Few precious minutes after and Red joined us.  He was still thinking of making a sub1!  Looking at my watch that says 56 minutes at this instance, I calculated that maybe we can still make it.  Therefore, I sped with him leaving Sweet behind.  At the finish line, Coach Michelle and Lara were calling out our names and I waved at them as if I won the very race itself!  Looking at my watch it says 1:00 something.  Red confirmed my fears, we did not make it sub1.  I set my timer some few minutes after I stepped on the start chute.  His watch said 1:02.  So there, we were 2 minutes off.

The after race activities were fun and many prices were raffled and given off.  After winning some ourselves, we proceeded to nearby Chow King for our reward, a hot beef mami!

Take a peek of how fun this race had been for the Fabulous Running Divas and the many running groups that made this race like one big happy family running together.

With running personality Greeneyes!
With no less than the Global Runner himself Cesar Guarin!
Striving to make a statement!
With another running personality Victor Ting!
Me with Cesar Guarin!
Fabulous Coach Michelle Estuar!

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